Avert Catastrophic Flooding by Replacing Your Washing Machine Supply Hoses

The hose that links your clothes washer to its water supply is one of the most unassuming of appliance parts, yet its failure could generate overwhelming devastation to your home.  If it bursts, water will continuously spray out.  This can flood your basement, as the outpour of water often exceeds the capacity of your basement drain to eliminate it.  The situation is much more serious when the washer is upstairs because water will drench the floors and ceilings and pour down the walls, soaking the entire house!  Such a deluge could produce many thousands of dollars of damage.  Replacing your washer hose every few years is an inexpensive way to protect your household.

There are various types of washer hoses.  The simplest hoses are made from rubber.  While these are very affordable, they can bulge and burst.  After five years they become more fragile and inelastic and are very likely to break.  In contrast, the most reliable hose will be made with braided stainless steel surrounding a rubber inner tube.  Though durable, they still are not invincible, as they slowly rust and can break when kinked.  Because the price of a hose is so little in comparison to the cost of a flood, you may as well get the slightly more expensive stainless steel braided hose.

Exchanging your hose is fairly straightforward.  First, deactivate your washer, unplug it, and turn off its hot and cold water supply.  Pull the appliance away from the wall so that you have room to work.  Unscrew the old hoses counterclockwise with pliers or a pipe wrench and let the water inside pour into a bucket.  Now attach your new hose.  The hot and cold water faucets must connect with the corresponding inlets on your washer.  Screw them in firmly so that the protective rubber rings inside fit snugly, but do not crush them.  Turn the water supply back on and watch for leaks.  When you are satisfied, push your washer back in with its hoses unkinked and plug it in.

You may feel discouraged if the connections on the hoses are corroded.  Use WD-40 or white vinegar to disperse oxidization.  To protect your supply pipe, hold it with a second pair of pliers while unscrewing any stubborn hose.  It is a great idea to always know the location of your main water shut-off valve ahead of time, in case an emergency such as this arises.  One other precaution that you can take is to turn your washer’s water supply off whenever your washer is not in use.  Although many instruction manuals recommend this, few people will actually bother with it.

Replacing a worn out hose is the best way to prevent catastrophic flooding by your washing machine.  This critical piece of equipment only costs in the ten to twenty dollar range, but can have a large impact on your life.    It is by no means difficult to replace, so do not hesitate to get the job done.